Call Us: (631) 804-6322 or (631) 278-1914

Our Programs

Support Groups

The Beading Hearts Overdose Loss Support Group meets on a weekly basis.  Each week the support group meets at a different location on Long Island, NY and by online support meetings to include members living in other states.  Furthermore, there is ongoing digital communication with bereaved group members between meetings and special events to keep them informed of the calendar and to support each other when grief is overwhelming. Our support groups are free and open to people of all race, orientation and religious practices


Healing for survivors is facilitated by memorialization.  It validates the mourning process itself while also paying tribute to the richness of the deceased person’s life.  Birthdays and death anniversaries are acknowledged with a special candle lighting. Attendance at special events such as a memorial candle lighting on International Overdose Awareness Day helps bereaved families remember their deceased child, grandchild, sibling or friend in a meaningful way

Using Beads to Heal Broken Hearts:

During the weekly meetings, each group member engages in a therapeutic art activity which is to string together lettered and color beads to create an inspirational message.  Commemorating a person, a memory, or a moment in time is very important for those experiencing grief and loss. To create something tangible in honor of what once was is a powerful experience. Art is a great way to commemorate a person and can help individuals continue to feel the presence of that person in their lives. As members engage in the art-making processes, they have been able to voice feelings related to past traumas, decreasing symptoms and increasing their emotional balance and a sense of well-being.  Creating beaded art pieces has given them a means to explore, express and validate their own and others’ experiences,

Wellness-Based Activities:

The Beading Hearts sets aside time at each meeting for a wellness-based activity. The death of someone you love can shake the foundation of your existence and affect both mind and body. During a period of grief, one can become preoccupied with thoughts, memories, and images of their loved one, have difficulty accepting the finality of the loss, and experience waves of sadness and yearning.

Chronic stress can lead to a variety of physical and emotional issues, such as depression, trouble sleeping, feelings of anger and bitterness, anxiety, loss of appetite, and general aches and pains. Constant stress can put one at greater risk for a heart attack, stroke and weakened immune system.  The mind and body are connected. When one feels healthy physically, they will be better able to cope emotionally.  Research is showing very positive effects from wellness-based activities such as meditation.

Community Outreach

The Beading Hearts Overdose Loss Support Group seeks out opportunities for community outreach. Our goal is to fulfill our mission of offering bereavement support and raising public awareness on the intensity and grief attributed to a drug overdose loss.

We perform outreach to the newly bereaved.  Through word-of-mouth, we learn of others who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose and send them a personalized beaded art item. We offer support, understanding and encouragement.

We take advantage of various social media outlets such as discussion forums, blogs and social networking sites.

Programs for Member Volunteers

Our members are provided volunteer opportunities for involvement in outreach activities in order to have a greater impact for change. Such activities are always free of charge to participants and does not include compensation to the volunteers.

Visits to Sober Houses and Correctional Facilities: 

The Beading Hearts volunteer at sober houses and correctional facilities.  Volunteers meet with residents in a group format to create individualized and personalized beaded items. The art-making process is a way for these individuals to receive support, feel a sense of belonging, and work with imagery to address issues such as self-blame, guilt, disclosure, social stigma and anger.  Due to privacy issues, member volunteers have to be pre-registered to visit the facilities.

Display Booth at Local Events:

The Beading Hearts Overdose Loss Support Group has an informational and display booth at many local events. The display and sales of The Beading Hearts art items are utilized to raise funds and raise awareness as to the unique challenges of grief after a substance-related death.

Speaking Engagements:

During their visits to sober homes, correctional facilities, and attendance at public events, volunteers tell their “story” of the loss of their love one to a drug overdose.  Volunteers include in their trauma narratives what they do to cope and survive. They share how they have learned to regulate intense negative emotions such as fear, guilt, shame, anger.  In their storytelling, they include the “rest of their story” as to what and how they have been able to accomplish goals despite experiencing the traumatic event of a drug overdose loss. The goal is to provide hope, connection, and an “antidote” to stigma and shame.

Gardens and Art Project:

A memorial garden provides an inspirational way to pay tribute to loved ones. The very act of building and maintaining a garden can be healing as it helps keep the mind focused on something beautiful and symbolic.  The Beading Hearts locates public areas in which to plant a memorial garden. 

Our volunteers create various art pieces for display in the gardens.  It is a way for our volunteers to express feelings and ideas.

Visits to BOCES:

BOCES are public organizations that were created by the New York State Legislature to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts.  The volunteers of The Beading Hearts Overdose Loss Support Group work with BOCES at-risk students and students with special needs to create inspirational beaded art items.  In turn, the students themselves engage in volunteerism by packaging the beaded art components used by The Beading Hearts volunteers at the correctional facilities.  Our volunteers encourage the students to be creative as it gives the students a means to express their own experiences.